One of the most popular questions I get asked by parents is ‘when my kid has to attend an event at school with the rest of the class, how can I help them get through it stress free?’
This is a very common problem and one that all parents of children on the autistic spectrum must go through almost daily. Children can wake up stressed out before they have even got out of bed. The levels of anxiety felt automatically by ASD children are so high, parents feel completely lost when attempting to get their child to perform even the smallest of tasks.
When my son, Jon was going through the worst years of his anxiety (around 7 to 12 years old) I discovered a neat little NLP trick that decreased the stress enough for him to complete tasks (even lessons of P.E) every day.
What is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and has been around for almost 50 years. It was a series of techniques devised by two student colleagues in America who were interested in finding out how our brains process information, store it, and then recall it. They discovered that triggers for certain behaviours come from ‘learned behaviour’ as well as emotions and memories. Early studies showed that human beings could subconsciously learn responses to certain stimuli.
The method we use for managing stress in Autism, for me, is a technique I call ‘root the requirement.’ This is a process that once mastered, can literally take less than 10 minutes to take effect.
It has been used all over the world by anyone from top business people before they go in front of an audience of thousands to actors about to go on stage to curb stage fright and nerves. In high functioning Autism, it has been proven to help children who need to prepare for school exams to sports events, family gatherings and college interviews or presentations.
ROOT THE REQUIREMENTIn this technique, if we look at it in diagram form, this is what it looks like. We are taking one state (or feeling) and turning it into another. We are, in NLP terms, anchoring a state to a feeling. In this case, it is the desired feeling we want to consciously trigger to use that state for a required purpose.
For example: If you want your child to feel confident, we take them back to a memory this have of the last time they felt confident. This could be anything as anytime in their past, so long it is a time or an event they can remember clearly. Therefore, this method works best for children who are High Functioning Autistic or have Asperger’s syndrome.
We trigger this wanted state when we need it the most. We use a part of the body like the knuckle to anchor the desired state so that it can be called upon when needed. To trigger this desired state, we tap with a finger on the back of a knuckle to trigger the feeling or state.
The benefits of mastering this method to changing state will help your child to feel confident and calm and ready to attend the stressful occasion. You might want to help your child get through a dentist appointment without feeling anxious. This would be an ideal time to use the above technique and master it well for it to work effectively.
You can download the FREE HOW TO kit to find out for yourselves how effective this method could be for your child. HERE